20 May, 2024


Basil A Traitor And Rajapaksa’s Delegation To The US

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

“It is important for us to brief them about measures we have taken, and plans for the future,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Cabinet at a  meeting on Wednesday.

As Daily Mirror newspaper reported; “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stressed the need to send a delegation to the United States of America ahead of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, to brief the leaders of that country on the measures taken by him to improve the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. The US government has already announced that they will support a motion against Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN Human Rights Commission scheduled for next month. Also,  Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recently invited her Sri Lankan counterpart to visit the US and counter the allegations made against Sri Lanka.

Governmental sources said that the issue was discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. First, Senior Minister DEW Gunasekera queried about media reports in this regard. The President noted that Sri Lanka should engage with the US ahead of the Human Rights Commission sessions.”

So, whom are they trying to fool this time? The US? No way!!

I would like to bring to your attention abstracts from two US reports; one from a US Human Rights Report, the other from a leaked US diplomatic cable.

Funeral at the house of Shanmugarajah Sajeenthiran

The 2006 US Human Rights Report states: “In January five Tamil youths were shot execution-style in a coastal High security zone in Trincomalee heavily controlled by the police Special Task Force (STF) and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN). Although civil groups and members of the government widely suspected police STF involvement in the incident, a ballistic report indicated that standard-issue STF guns had not killed the individuals, and the case was dropped. Some credible observers believe the STF committed the killings using non-standard issue weapons.”

Now the question is who are those credible observers or “traitors”? As Rajapaksa and his apple polishers say, are they NGO traitors who are working for Dollars to tarnish a  Sri Lankan patriotic government?

“Speaking with surprising candor, Rajapaksa explained the GSL’s efforts to prove that members of the Security Task Force (STF) murdered five students in Trincomalee in January: ‘We know the STF did it, but the bullet and gun evidence shows that they did not. They must have separate guns when they want to kill someone. We need forensic experts. We know who did it, but we can’t proceed in prosecuting them.’”

Who is this Rajapkasa? He is none other than the President’s brother/ Chief Advisor/ Minister Basil Rajapaksa!! During an October 4, 2006 courtesy call, Ambassador Blake reminded Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa of US priorities and initiatives in Sri Lanka. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and recounts details of the meeting the US Ambassador to Colombo had with  Basil Rajapaksa. The cable is written by the US Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake.

Funeral home of Thangathurai Sivanantha, an engineering student from Moratuwa University

Under the subheading  “President is Keen on Human Rights” Blake wrote, “Basil told the Ambassador that the President genuinely seeks the help of the Co-chairs, and the US in particular, to improve Sri Lanka’s human rights capability by lending experts, assisting with inquiries, and building up the indigenous Human Rights Commission (HRC). The Ambassador agreed that President Rajapaksa and Development and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe have strong reputations as human rights advocates, but noted the UNHCR lacked credibility.”

“ He said that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has been sufficiently trained in human rights, but that the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has been credibly implicated in harassment and human rights violations. ‘We have few complaints in areas of SLA presence, but we have a problem with the SLN,’ Rajapaksa explained. ‘We didn’t expect them to work with civilians and they weren’t trained.” He said the President has prioritized human rights training for the Navy. Rajapaksa added that with a new law requiring that police notify the magistrate before they can detain a suspect for longer than 24 hours, ‘We have minimized harassment by the police.’” Ambassador Blake further wrote.

Placing a comment the Ambassador wrote “The Ambassador’s first meeting with Basil Rajapaksa sparked a candid response from the Presidential Advisor and laid the foundation for a pragmatic relationship with the embassy. Rajapaksa’s frank discussion of the GSL’s human rights struggles with its security forces and request for international assistance in human rights capacity building is welcome.”

Funeral home of slain student Logithasan Rohanth

After six years of the killing of the five students in Trincomalee, President Rajapaksa is to send a delegation to the US  to brief the leaders of that country on the measures taken by him to improve the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.  But what are the measures he has taken to bring the killers of the Trinco students to justice?

August 4, 2006, 17 local employees  -16 Tamil and one Muslim – of the French non governmental organization (NGO) Action Contre La Faim (ACF) were shot, execution-style in their compound in Muttur. What  measures has the Sri Lankan justice system taken to bring the killers to book? These incidents need to be put in context of the impunity of killing innocent  civilians that Sri Lanka is being charged with. We have evidence that the President himself was directly involved in pushing for Tissainaygam’s prosecution even though the AG’s department held that the case was weak.

As I wrote last August, I  am reminded of my own experience of the then burgeoning signs of absolute impunity that I saw when I met Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2008. I was meeting him as the Convenor of the Free Media Movement. We were not alone. Other members of his then cabinet were present. After a cordial conversation the President rose from his chair, saying, “Have some dinner before you go.”

“One more issue,” I said.

“What?” asked the President.

“Tissainayagam’s issue,” I said.

“Oh that. I want to free Tissainayagam. His wife had sent a message through Mangala Moonesinghe,” said the President with a smile on his face.

Funeral at the house of Yogarajah Hemachandran

“Then why did you summon the Deputy Solicitors General two weeks ago and order them to file action?” I asked.

The President was visibly angered by this. He glanced at Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena, and then looked directly at me. Angrily banging his palm on the table, he said, “We can fix cases and we can free people.”

He then came near me and hit my solar plexus with a bunched fist. “You know everything, don’t you?” he asked.

What was the story President Rajapaksa had tried to cover-up? This was it. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had summoned the Deputy Solicitors General from the Attorney General’s Department for a meeting sometime during the third week of August 2008. He was impatient with the Department’s lack of success in securing convictions of ‘suspects’ detained by the Police. One was the case of Mawbima Journalist Parameswary Munusamy. Arrested on suspicion of aiding the LTTE and released for  lack of evidence.

The President’s first query was directed to the Deputy Solicitor General in charge of the Tissainayagam case. The DSG said that the grounds for prosecution were poor. The President ordered him to prosecute regardless. The DSG in charge of the ACF case (the gruesome execution-style murders of 17 aid workers with the French organisation Action Contre La Faim in 2006) was asked about the progress. The DSG replied that there were two strong witnesses in Australia. President Rajapaksa’s younger brother Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa who was present then inquired whether people in Australia died in road accidents?

Funeral home of slain student Manoharan Rajeehar

The discussion with the DSGs reveals the measures Rajapaksa has taken to improve the human rights situation! It is the mind-set behind the repression. Soon after the meeting, the following week August 25, 2009, Journalist Tissainayagam, who had been tortured and held for four months since March 7, 2008, against mounting international pressure, was indicted in the Colombo High Court. The Terrorism Investigation Division produced a confession signed by Tissainayagam as evidence against him. Tissainayagam claimed it was dictated to him, and he was pressured to write it. On August 31, 2009, the High Court in Sri Lanka sentenced Tissainayagam to a total of 20 years rigorous imprisonment. On  May 3, 2010 the Sri Lankan Government announced that Tissainayagam would be pardoned by President Rajapaksa to mark the 2010 World Press Freedom Day. This is what happened to a case in which “ the grounds for prosecution were poor.”

What happened to the ACF case? On August 4, 2006 at around 4.15 p.m., one Muslim and 16 Tamil ACF aid workers were forced to their knees, begging for their lives, and shot execution-style at point blank range in their office compound in Muttur. In this case, or any premeditated crime of this nature, the State has a responsibility to independently determine the facts of the case and to identify the perpetrators. The Government has not only failed to fulfill its duty, it has obstructed efforts to do so through the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. The government made sure there was no proper witness protection in place. It changed its earlier identification of a 5.56 mm bullet . The Presidential Order to stop video conferencing of testimonies by witnesses who had to flee the country, was another blatant move to suppress the truth.

The Commission of Inquiry ceased with a whimper in mid 2009. According to the Chairman, the culprits in the ACF case were not identified because he ‘ran out of funds’. However, this admission has not prevented the Government from coercing the family members to sign documents stating that they “agree with the findings of the Commission that the deaths were caused by the LTTE. This marked the end of a case where there were “two strong witnesses”. A similar situation prevailed with the Trinco students killing. Security forces attempted to build a case that the students were LTTE members, and told the father of Ragihar Manoharan that his son’s body would not be released unless he signed a statement saying that his son was an LTTE combatant. Dr. Manoharan refused. Dr. Manoharan later received many threats and had to leave the country. That courageous father is still fighting for justice.  According Basil Rajapaksa, “STF must have separate guns when they want to kill someone”. Those are the things under the watch of Rajapaksa one has to ponder when authorities say that they want to improve the human rights situation. I wonder what the President’s delegation is going to plead with the US !! After  Sarath Fonseka told of the White Flag story to The Sunday Leader,  Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the BBC Hard Talk programme that the General was a liar and might be hanged for betraying the country.

So the President’s delegation can say Basil was a liar and might be hanged for betraying the country! Or they can say the King is naked, now Basil is also naked!

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Latest comments

  • 1

    History cannot be corrected. We should understand what is happening today without being lost in an illusion or left in a beautiful dream. I was a professional, but today I am expelled from the whole society including especially professional society. I am registered as mad and treated as mad by almost everyone inthis society. I have no escape to conduct a normal life in the society except to offer my valuable service to others for disgrace in return to earn very cheap coins for which I am not prepared.But I see most of the people in this society are mad. I am writing this with real pain since I cannot help my old mother who helped me greatly in my life since I am helpless. I cannot write the tragedies faced by me, No one is there to share my grievances today.

    The most veteran professionals elaborate in media today, we are going to lose our good friend China for India and Western countries. Many major projects which are done by Chinese are at a loss.Port city which is amajor project ahead of us may give money to us but there are many detrimental aspects . They started it knowing necessary approvals are not obtained. Any country would be happy if part of some other country is given for their permanent use. When it is located in sea, I feel the consequences could be more dangerous since their limitations are less. Any country could grow freinds in this manner.The veteran professionals scold Tamils in an indirect language.They are trying to say Tamils are inferior to Sinhala Buddhists. But have we performed our duty towards them after 2009. They are highly grieved even today since most of them are not returnred to normal life after six years. Instead we kept our security forces around them limiting their freedom for day today activities. Our people so called Buddhists began a campaign recently asking not to consume beef. Could we force things on people? It is not practicable. Is that real Buddhism? How our people become so short sighted ?

    Very learnant people began to use Maithree Bodhi Sathwayo, Siddhartha Kumaraya and Yashodhara Dawi the most nobble charactrs in Buddhism to tell big blunders through media to prove thier blunders. Would devine powers help this country further which protected Noble Buddhis for 2500 years.Today oarwnts kill children.children kill parenets , mother give daughter for prostitution. These thinge never happened.So many accidendents , unusal number of clild deaths.

    We lost support of almost all foreign countries except China due to our wrong foreign policy.Upto January people of all cross sections were afriaid talk a word related to the government. A person of in any kind any profession would do any act may be not lawful instructed by the superior in that setup whichis a dangerous trend really.People hardly know what is happening in this country.Today most of them are not intersted sinc ethey know invajn ant it would be harmful.

    The quality of drama, songs, advertisements all we see todayhas gone down drastically therby making people frustrated after watching them. Artistic creations could be used to develop a society greately. We have capable people though they are not used properly. There are only commercial or political purposes,People are brain washed through media unknowingly.Children go for tuition may be upto 8.00 pm and on Sun days even on Poya days. There should be a limit.When we are to buy a food even from a supermarket,may be fruit, sweets we are not sure of the quality. There are many products which are not fit for human consumption.

    Whenevr we have no power in some aspect we cannot expect protection from police,Good people are unduely harassed in this set up I refer to set up upto this January which is gradually being changed.We observe the Riyar Admiral Sarath Fonseka could not get the position of MP for some unknown reason.In this setup we could not imabgine the real reason behind an important happening.

    Even priests try to go towards High Security Zone to say not to question from a person by the bribery commission.Should it be the correct response for that.Why people are treted drastically different even by the average society?

    My problem is our so called human beings assign values to human lives in this country in an ambiguous priroity order.There is a person at the top most position what ever he does (The most blesseed person in this country) we should be prepared to sacrifice this country for him no need of 19 in that case. Buddhists are above in thhierachy they are a some what superior group, Tamils and Muslims are much below ,Chinese are above. Former Army Commander is below, Chris Nonis is below SajinVaas is above, Dumuinda above, Pabha above. I am at the right bottom.I think there is such prirority list may be according to the merits of the previous birth of the person concerned. Really people treat them accordingly. Whatever these people do in the society, the reults and the responses to them from the society are according to the position in this list. May be all are listed . I feel our Hon President may be in the middle or towards bottom. I am sure not on the top.I observed by looking at responses of some people especially this so called BUDDHISTS.

    People do not know who is the real enemy,There are shadow powers. There are people who are prepared to do any sort of act to fulfil there desires.If a person is against 19 th amendment we could imagine what his intension is.I am sure we could never escape from the tragedy ahead of us, When veteran professionals hide the truth purposely. When most of the priests cannot understand what is really happening,even today people are reluctant to speak up even for the sake of the future of thier children. I am sure we would not come out of this rut. Lord Buddha never asked us to call false as truth or truth as false.How many people in this society respect this noble quality.

    We should see we are faced with a challenging situation. if our eys are not widely open cannot say how severe our destiny would be. We should be careful of an enemy coming smiling towards us rather than coming shouting at us with filthy words.

    Today money could do any thing, buy any person may be for any cost. Thoug the head of the sysyem changed we are left with the same system with same other heads.So we scould not be too sure of the out come of the system.

    I wrote this since I lost most of my valuable assets especially intangible. I know I have no help.Therefore either I have to live in this world or die to keep up my respect.

    • 2

      Even though u have elaborated your concerns I dnt think your brains are working. I guess u are thinking of a heaven, step on the ground mate, this is not heaven. And dn’t forget no country is perfect. so sometimes it is best to keep quiet and watch wot is happening rather than mourning 24/7. Ahhh I 4got, “I am registered as mad and treated as mad by almost everyone in this society”….I guess all you need is some positive vibes, that’ll do the trick to overcome depression :)

      • 1

        Atleast the man has spoken his thoughts, nobody could have done that for the last 10 years. I lived in SL politically closest to the African dictatorships. Where the brainless rule thru sheer brute force. Im amazed, you have accepted that as your destiny, what a spineless gecko on the wall talking with great wisdom about shit happens, well it happens becoz of ball-less guys like you. Tomo you will be singing hossanas as an asslicker, who wants a few crumbs of the table…yet call yourself a patriotic sri lankan…well sums up what a coward is.

  • 1

    ‘now Basil is also naked!’

    Basil and Namal were naked well before. Their land swindles have not been investigated. Every company and every fellow who got state lands for projects paid bribes under the table. Many who refused were not given lands to undertake worthy projects.

    It is time all signs of war victories are removed from the earth of Sri Lanka to create a climate of harmony. It was an internal strife and not an heroic war against another country.

    Are we remembering the missing armed forces of the war days. During Mahinda’s war body bags were dumped in the sea to treat the dead as missing persons.

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